Celebrating ancient traditions of lantern festival

Hu Min
A special event replicating the boisterous scenes of Lantern Festival celebrations and unique activities dating back to ancient times has been held in Taiping Village.
Hu Min
Celebrating ancient traditions of lantern festival
Ti Gong

A dragon dance performance.

How did the ancients celebrate the Lantern Festival?

A special event replicating the boisterous scenes of Lantern Festival celebrations and unique activities dating back to ancient times in Baihe Town of Qingpu District was held in Taiping Village on Friday.

Amid colorful lanterns and the deafening sound of gongs and drums, typical Lantern Festival foods like Yangfen porridge were served.

Eating the porridge is a must in the Lantern Festival celebration for the town.

Legend has it that the Kitchen God reported to the Jade Emperor (the Supreme Deity of Taoism) that local people lived a bitter life and had nothing to eat but the porridge. The emperor then ordered immortals to improve the livelihood of locals. The tradition of cooking the porridge is an expression of gratitude to the Kitchen God.

Celebrating ancient traditions of lantern festival
Ti Gong

A colorful banquet.

Following the old tradition of zousanqiao (walking three bridges), children of the town walked through Jijia, Zhangjia and Wanjing bridges with rabbit and dragon lanterns in hand.

The tradition, originating in the southern areas along the Yangtze River, is believed to eliminate grief and misfortune.

People also played jiuzi, or "nine games" traditionally played in Shanghai longtang (lanes), during the event. Jiangnan (lower parts of the Yangtze River) sizhu (traditional string and wind music) and Huju opera performances were staged as well.

The event reached its climax when locals prayed for a harvest in 2024 with fire-related activities.

Celebrating ancient traditions of lantern festival
Ti Gong

Street stalls

The ancient Baihe Town maintains the historic and cultural legacy represented by Qinglong culture.

In the Tang (AD 618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties, the riverside Qinglong Town thrived on the merits of its agricultural strength as well as international trade. Porcelain products from all over China were brought to the town, and then exported via the Wusong River. The Qinglong Pagoda and Qinglong Temple, the core of Qinglong culture, remain till today.

In AD 746, the ancient Qinglong Town was set up as a harbor from where commercial ships sailed to Japan and South Korea as well as other foreign countries.

Celebrating ancient traditions of lantern festival
Ti Gong

A children's dance performance

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